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Aid flight arrives from Iran to Venezuela despite continued US pressure

Economic and political relations between Iran and Venezuela continue to develop despite Washington's best efforts.

An Iranian flight carrying coronavirus aid reportedly landed in Venezuela today. It is the latest sign of cooperation between the two countries in the face of US opposition.

The Venezuelan government said a flight from Iran arrived today carrying humanitarian aid to help the South American country fight the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

The flight is the latest sign of strong ties between the two countries, both of which are sanctioned by the United States. Last week, the last of five Iranian fuel tankers arrived in Venezuela despite US pressure to stop the shipments. A State Department official told Al-Monitor late last month the United States is communicating with energy companies in an effort to stop them from doing business with Venezuela.

The flight shows that the countries’ relations continue despite US pressure.

Iran and Venezuela have been brought together by shared sanctions from and animosity to the United States. Venezuela’s once-thriving oil industry has collapsed amid economic and political instability in the country, prompting it to seek Iranian fuel.

The United States has criticized flights between the countries as well. In April, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to stop flights from Iran’s Mahan Air from going to Venezuela. The United States supports an opposition government in Venezuela.

Tensions with the United States prompted Venezuela’s military to escort the Iranian tankers to shore.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the tankers' crews today, according to Iranian state media.

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